Hunter sees springboard from 2007 season

There are some who say Cedric Hunter didn't have a quality year in 2007, but Hunter is not one of those players. He admits the elements surprised him, as did a grueling season, but this is a springboard for bigger things in 2008.

Did you meet your own expectations for this past year in Fort Wayne?

Cedric Hunter: Definitely. It was a long season and I am not used to that. I played about 130 games and then had to go somewhere else.

It was a great experience but my first time playing that many games. It tears your body up pretty good. Hopefully I will be better next year. I know what to expect.

You hit .282 after skipping a level and going to the Midwest League – a tough league to hit well in.

Cedric Hunter: It is definitely a tough league. The Fort Wayne grass is thick and takes a lot of hits away from you and the ball doesn't carry as well. I am just trying to get better and better every year.

What do you need to do, and what was your goal for the Instructional League?

Cedric Hunter: Trying to get stronger and working on the little things. I was out at Instructs to be around baseball – I think that is why they wanted me out there to work on little things and learn.

What are the little things?

Cedric Hunter: Stealing bases, my time to first, jumps and reads off fly balls. Not really the hitting part – they know I can hit. It was to work on the other stuff.

At 19, everyone asks if you are going to hit for power or do this or that. Are those things, power included, ever a concern for you?

Cedric Hunter: No, I try and let that come. I always want to hit for power – and everyone does – but it takes time to come. That is what the off-season is for – to get stronger to help allow that power to come.

What do you look forward to – what are the expectations looking forward?

Cedric Hunter: I always have to have high expectations. I am not really setting anything but I want to make sure I do everything right.

You had a tough squad to play with guys going down to injury and it turned out – and I hate to say this – but there was not a lot of protection for you. Did you find out you were facing a lot more breaking balls this season than you did in your first year?

Cedric Hunter: Definitely. I saw a lot of the same pitchers as last year and they remember me. A lot more breaking balls.

How did you make adjustments through the season and what was going through your head, ‘Throw me a fastball! Come on!'

Cedric Hunter: It was hard at first. I am not going to lie. I was struggling. But, you start to get used to it. See what you see and hit it.

Does it just come all of a sudden come to you and you realize you are starting to recognize you can tell what pitch it is out of the pitcher's hand?

Cedric Hunter: Yes. There is definitely that too. When we first started the season we had four days cancelled because of snow and had to start off in cold weather. It took a while to get that pitch recognition back. Now, it is pretty good.

You go from 20 degrees to open the year and then eventually you are playing and it is truly summer. How was playing in Fort Wayne in general?

Cedric Hunter: It was a cool place to play. The cold weather doesn't help at all.

I am looking forward to (the California League). I heard that is a hitter's league so I am definitely looking forward to that.

When someone says a pitcher's league versus a hitter's league – does it get into your own head?

Cedric Hunter: No, it doesn't really. You always have to think that you are going to hit every single day, no matter who you are facing.


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